The Pennsylvania House Labor and Industry Committee has approved legislation to stop state workers from cashing in when they check out.
House Bill 2346 would end the annuitant unemployment loophole that allows retirees to collect their pensions, go back to work as annuitants for 95 days, and then file for unemployment benefits.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Adam Harris (R-Snyder/Mifflin/Juniata), called the practice "unconscionable" while Pennsylvania's Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund is billions of dollars in debt to the federal government.
He said Pennsylvania has a formal state hiring policy that if a state annuitant is re-employed, his or her service cannot exceed 95 days.
"The state retirees who took these temporary jobs did so knowing that they would only be hired for 95 days or less," Harris said in a statement. "This is not the type of situation for which unemployment compensation was intended, and I do not believe unemployment benefits are warranted in this instance."
Harris said in 2011, 239 state annuitants collected a total of more than $1.1 million in unemployment compensation benefits.
The bill now goes before the full House for consideration.